The Milkmaid

SK-A-2344

 

The Milkmaid sometimes called The Kitchen Maid, is an oil-on-canvas painting of a “milkmaid”, in fact, a domestic kitchen maid, by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer. It is now in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The picture clearly shows a kitchen or housemaid, a low-ranking indoor servant, rather than a milkmaid who actually milks the cow. She is a young, sturdily built woman wearing a crisp linen cap, a blue apron and work sleeves pushed up from thick forearms.

According to art historian Harry Rand, the painting suggests the woman is making bread pudding, which would account for the milk and the broken pieces of bread on the table. Rand assumed she would have already made custard in which the bread mixed with egg would be soaking at the moment depicted in the painting.

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